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England’s Prem stars will be given a two-week hiatus next season – but not officially.
But overseas players outside Europe face fifteen globetrotters while their teammates have their feet on the ground.
The FA and Prem have agreed to a three-season trial of the “mid-season player break” starting in February 2020.
But the pandemic’s impact on last season’s crowded matches has meant the lawsuit has been temporarily dropped – and there is no return of “split” matches for the 2021-22 campaign.
Instead, the new fixture list showed back-to-back weekends in late January and early February with no Prem matches.
This is in part because the FA Cup fourth round will take place on the weekend of February 5-6.
But with Fifa having squeezed in a catch-up World Cup qualifying series in Africa, Asia, South America, Concacaf and Oceania for the last week of January, that meant no Prem n ‘was possible for January 29.
With Championship games scheduled for the weekend of January 22, and then again midweek starting Tuesday, February 8, a number of Gareth Southgate’s teams could have up to 17 days off if they are. at rest for the FA Cup draw.
Other Europeans will also be able to benefit from the rest.
But Egyptian Mo Salah, Korean Heung-min Son and Brazilians Ederson, Alisson and Richarlison are all set to return to their home continent for two or three 2022 qualifiers before returning to the UK.